Orioles unveil renderings of renovations to Camden Yards

The Orioles unveiled "renderings of their planned changes to Camden Yards’ left-field dimensions," with the wall between the left corner and up to the bullpens in left-center field "moved back about 30 feet and its height increased nearly 6 feet," according to Nathan Ruiz of the BALTIMORE SUN. The goal is to turn the 30-year-old ballpark from "one of the league’s most susceptible to home runs to average in that regard." Orioles GM Mike Elias said, "We think that this will improve the playing conditions and the style of play in this part of the park and be beneficial towards us and the type of competition that occurs here going forward." Ruiz wrote the new layout will "add an intriguing element" to Camden Yards’ dimensions. Elias noted that the format is "similar to that of PNC Park" in Pittsburgh. He said that the changes have been "loosely discussed" since he was hired in late '18, with the pandemic "putting the concept on the back burner." Ruiz wrote the Orioles felt the changes would have a "significant enough impact" to remove what Elias said was "about 1,000 seats to make the changes; those seats will be included as part of a future charity event." The orange seat that designates where Cal Ripken Jr.’s 278th home run landed -- which set a major league record for home runs by a shortstop -- will be "part of the Oriole Park Exhibit that commemorates the stadium’s 30-year anniversary" (BALTIMORE SUN, 1/15).

EYE ON THE FUTURE: Elias said, "The future of baseball here and of this park and the Orioles franchise, it’s very, very exciting. ... You’ve got to renovate and reinvest. Those things will be happening over the next several years and decades." The SUN's Ruiz in a separate piece wrote it is "not insignificant" Elias went with “decades” at a time the Orioles are "negotiating a new long-term lease" with the Maryland Stadium Authority, with the current one set to expire after the '23 season. He has "long said his goal is not to build an Orioles team that contends in the American League East and for a World Series title once, but perennially." His long-term thinking "applies to the ballpark," as well, and those two endeavors can "certainly go hand-in-hand." Elias also was "not shy in pointing out" these renovations will make Baltimore a "more attractive destination for free-agent pitchers" (BALTIMORE SUN, 1/15).

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